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Adverbial Connectors in Advanced EFL Learners' and Native Speakers' Student Writing
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Adverbial connectors join together sentences and units in a text to signal logical relations. Appropriately used, they can help the reader to make sense of the text. The usage of adverbial connectors can create problems for foreign language learners, and is often shown as under- , over- and misuse of connectors. In this study, a quantitative analysis of connector usage of advanced EFL learners’ and native speakers’ student writing is presented. For the current corpus-based study, three sub-corpora of the SUSEC (Stockholm University Student English Corpus) were chosen. The sample includes 164 linguistic essays from students at Stockholm University and 82 linguistic essays from students at King’s College in London. The analysis, where the learners’ connector usage is compared to that of native speakers, is based on 69 connectors. The results show that both the learners and the native speakers rely on a rather small set of these connectors in their writing. As a group, the advanced Swedish EFL learners underuse connectors in their written production. Additionally, the learners significantly overuse 12 and underuse 6 connectors. Similarities between the learners and the native speakers were found in the positioning of the connectors. Both groups prefer the most frequently used connectors in the medial position of a sentence, and prefer mostly the same set of connectors in the different positions of a sentence, although some differences in the positioning were also found. The findings create a basis for future research where a qualitative analysis of the connector usage could be carried out in order to increase knowledge of the interlanguage of the learners. The findings could also be used for pedagogical purposes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
adverbial connectors, advanced EFL learners, interlanguage, corpus-based study
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40674OAI: diva2:325443
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-09-09 Created: 2010-06-18 Last updated: 2010-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Heino, Paula
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